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This collection of essays examines the efforts of African governments to bring regional governance mechanisms into their constitutions. Since the end of the Cold War jurisdictions across Africa have witnessed a return to multi-party democracy within the paradigm of constitutionalism and the rule of law. In order to promote constitutionalism during the 1990s many countries took steps to decentralize power by departing from the heavily centralized systems inherited from colonial regimes. The centralization of power, typically characterized by the personalization and concentration of power in the hands of leaders and privileged elites in capital cities, was a crucial factor in enabling repressive regimes. Since the independence movement of the 1960s, African governments have sought to disperse and share powers at all levels of society.
This volume examines a variety of forms and degrees of decentralization found across Africa. It advances a new understanding of trends and patterns and facilitates the exchange of ideas among African governments still in the throes of democratization.